Alumni Spotlight: Chloe El Kassis


Chloe is a Lebanese student. Interested in the world, she is always seeking new adventures.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it provided an amazing oportunity: I could live and study in a world renown university.

I chose the "Broadening Horizons" course for a two-week summer camp. This option gave me a lot of classes to choose from, which could give me different aspects and help me with future university choices. It was also a great choice in order to travel, visit a new city and meet amazing people from multiple nationalities.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program providers helped a lot. They were always available to answer any question I had through the live chat option on the ORA website and to help me with all the changes I wanted to make. Moreover, they would constantly send me tasks to fill on the forum (medical form, dietary forms...).

They helped me through VISA assistance too by sending a letter. They also provided a coach transfer to take students from the airport to their respective campuses.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Of course this program is a summer camp where you will participate in many activities, meet a lot of people, travel and visit a new city. However, you need to know that there is a lot of work. There are assignements to do, homework, essays, presentations...

And you will be graded at the end of the summer camp for all your work. So, if you are like me and you want to make sure you get good scores, you will have to study well.

There are no "tests", more like research work (at least for the subjects I had).

That being said, you shouldn't worry a lot about it: you will still have a lot of time to enjoy and have the summer of your life.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

So, on an average day, you would have registration in the morning, followed by breakfast, two-morning courses (for Broadening Horizons) separated by a break. Then, you would have a lunch break where you can go to town to grab food.

Afterward, on some days there would be an afternoon workshop, and if not, you will have some planned activities (punting, city tour, treasure hunt, check the botanical garden...) followed by registration and dinner at the campus. And at night, there would be some activities, such as TED talks, talent shows (those were some of the activities prepared when I was at the camp, but they may vary by campus/year)...

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

In general, I was very excited about this trip. But since it was my first time traveling alone, I couldn't neglect the fear of being far from home, from my comfort zone. I had to live for two weeks with complete strangers from different cultures.

At the end of the day, you attract people from your vibe. Once I arrived, making friends was really easy, seen that no one wants to be alone and everyone was seeking to build new friendships, and the friendly team made the whole trip smoother.